From December 21, 2012, gender pricing is banned by a European Union directive, which means firms must offer the same prices to men and women.
The directive affects many products and services, especially car insurance, life insurance and pension annuities. Insurers have started issuing pricing statements to reassure customers about their products, but The Insurance Blogger has not read such a load of meaningless guff for ages.
Basically, the directive upsets the natural order of things in the UK insurance industry.
Some firms that specialise in insurance for woman, such as Lady Insure and Sheilas’ Wheels, must offer their products to men at the same prices as they do to women. This essentially destroys marketing campaigns that give women cheap car insurance.
Jacky Brown, Head of Projects at Sheilas’ Wheels, said: “Although we have always believed the effects of this ruling will create many unforeseen consequences – not all of them positive for women – Sheilas’ Wheels expects that the impact for the hundreds of thousands of women we insure currently and those who join us both now and in future will be more favourable than what we expect to see in the market generally.
“Each company equalising prices ultimately needs to match premiums to claims and our claims costs should continue to be relatively lower due to the sheer number of good, safe drivers who comprise our mainly female policyholder base today.
“What’s more our marketing and benefits will continue to appeal to women. We have always insured men from day one but our marketing has always appealed to women more – that won’t change.”
So that’s completely clear then. ‘Prices are going up’ would have covered the point.